Ridley Scott is Right about Good Reviews

Ridley Scott has said a few things in the recent past that it’s been easy to disagree with since whether you like the man or not, he does appear to have lost the plot a time or two when it comes to one of his recent movies, The Last Duel. But this time around he’s making a lot of sense when he talks about the dangers of actually taking good reviews to heart. That sounds a bit odd, doesn’t it? Why would it be so bad to take good news and good reviews to heart? Most people love to get good news and won’t shy away from praise when they can get it. To be realistic, it’s something that most of us want and will do just about anything that will continue the same level of praise that we’re so ready to accept. But the way Ridley puts it is sensible enough that it’s wise to listen considering that the director is well aware of why it’s important not to live on the praise that one might get from one project or another. 

No one likes failure, but the wisest individuals will recognize that we learn more from failure than we do from success. Many would argue that the latter is better and much easier to build off, but this is a short-sighted way to do business and to run one’s life. Of course, success is what a lot of people want and it’s something that people tend to cherish, but allowing oneself to operate under the premise that one success means that they will continue to be successful and that everything they do is right is dangerous. Not only does it promote limited growth when it comes to one’s personal development, but it grants false confidence to those that might have done something right one time, but have no idea on how to make it work once again. Let’s be honest here, there are times when a person does what they can, and it turns out great. 

Then there are times when success is sought out with intention, but it’s never found. There are several reasons why this happens, and every person will end up reacting in one way or another when they’re successful or when they fail. But success, that one thing that many of us want so badly, can be one of the worst things for us since like it or not, success can breed laziness and in many ways, it can cause failure to occur. It sounds contradictory as hell and many people might be wondering what in the world I’m talking about, or what Ridley Scott might be talking about. But despite everything he’s said in recent months, Scott is correct in this case since success can be dangerous as well as desirable, since it can create a sense of confidence and even, in some cases, a sense of bravado that doesn’t help anyone. When taken in a measured way, success can bolster the efforts of those that want to be successful again and again. It can build us up and show that we’re doing something right, which is a good feeling that many people want to experience more than once in their lives. 

But like most things, when taken to excess it’s a serious problem that doesn’t do anyone any good since looking back on past successes while hoping that those past moments of greatness can elevate one in their current situation is like a drowning sailor hoping that a deflated life raft will keep them from sinking into the waiting sea. Success is wonderful, it’s great, but like all things, it’s meant to be tempered, appreciated, and used as another element of life that can teach us what we did right, what might work again, and what might need to change in the months and years to come. The simple fact is that when it comes to success, one needs to be thankful and then move on, perhaps framing the success as a pleasing reminder, but not as the crowning achievement that will carry them through the rest of their career. By allowing success to go to your head, as the saying goes, one will often fail to recognize that things will need to change if continual success is the goal. 

It’s fair to say that Ridley Scott might have suffered from this a time or two in his career, and it’s even more likely that a lot of professionals throughout the world have experienced this failing at one time or another. Banking on success is a balancing act that requires a great deal of attention, humility, and the capacity for change, and the need to keep learning. If such things aren’t given the proper attention then one might as well face backward and enjoy their past success, as that’s about all they’ll have soon enough. 

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